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marred by fraud, president karzai and his rival pulls out. president obama sends 30,000 more troops to afghanistan part of the surge. 180 die as ethnic violence erupts in western china haven't troops are sent in to restore order. western leaders accuse iran of building a second nuclear plant diss despite a u.n. ban. six years after the invasion, american troops hand over power in towns and cities. welcome to this week's news review, major stories seen on bbc during the second half of 2009. in july, six years after american-led forces invaded iraq, president obama has announced thetch withdrawn from the country's towns and cities but he warped difficult days lay ahead as iraqis celebrated. a car bomb in the northern city killed 25 people. e bbc's jim muir witnessed events in baghdad. >> despite the bombs an iraqi victory parade to celebrate the last american leaving baghdad and other cities. on the streets, jubilation. across the board, everyone is glad to see the americans go, it means iraqis are back in charge. >> today we saw great pleasure mixed with deep sorrow. the pleasure of
and money to peace with the taliban undermine the environment with the afghan people? homage karzai has been defending himself from the accusation. -- homage karzai. britain's prime minister answered questions from afghan and british students and defended his deployment of british troops. our world from paris -- our world affairs correspondent was there. >> president karzai arrives in london knowing he has repair work to do on his own reputation and that of his government. last ye's afghan elections were widely seen as flawed by widespread corruption. at the same time, more troops than ever were being killed or injured in the war against the taliban. was it, one student asked, worth the price being paid? >> british soldiers have been fighting in afghanistan for nine years. practically half my life. have we seen any change in the situation over there? will we get better? or will my children ask me the same question? >> i think the first thing to say is we had to take action in 2001. after the al-qaeda bombing of new york, the knowledge that al- qaeda were operating from afghanistan, the help
and money to the taliban not undermine the freedoms won by the afghan people? tommy karzai has been defending himself against accusations ahead of thursday's london conference on afghanistan. britain's prime minister gordon brown answered questions from afghan and british students and defended his deployment of british troops. our world affairs correspondent was there. >> president karzai arrives in london knowing that he has repair work to do on his reputation and that of his government. last year's afghan elections were widely seen as flawed by widespread corruption. at the same time, more western troops than ever were killed or injured in the war against the taliban. was it worth the price, one student asked? >>. is it shoulders have been fighting in afghanistan at nine years, -- british soldiers have been fighting in afghanistan nine years, practically have my life. will it get any better or will my children be asking me the same questions? >> i think the first thing to say it is we had to take action in 2001 after the bombing of new york, the knowledge that al qaeda was operati
nominees. president karzai says the president's decision was bad news, but will be respected. >> it was a long and disappointing way 400 karzai. -- disappointing for karzai. his 17 rejected included a controversial former warlord who fought against the taliban. president carter signed wanted him to continue as energy minister. -- president karzai what did him to continue. he pledged to place more women in government posts in a male- dominated society. the nominations for justice, commerce, and communication also failed. among the successful reappointment or the interior minister and defense minister, but no one has been nominated to fill the post of foreign minister. it will not be decided until a conference on afghanistan takes place this month. the president said he will make some nominations but it is uncertain who he will announce. parliament has spoken and the president said he will respect its decision. the western allies will make it clear they want to tackle corruption and threaten to withhold funding from any ministry run by a corrupt politician. >> rescue operations
. president karzai told a conference that his company -- country was moving slowly toward national security. of the next 45 minutes, british and afghan leaders and the un secretary general outline their goals. general mcchrystal has the international forces serving with such distinction in afghanistan and soon to be over 100,000 strong. foreign ministers, distinguished guests representing over 70 nations and international organizations, including every single member of the 43 nation strong international security assistance force. representing also afghanistan's key regional and muslim partners with whom we are pleased to work and his involvement in this worldwide coalition to support peace and stability in this crucial region are especially welcome to. this is a decisive time for the international cooperation that is helping the afghan people secure and govern their own country. for this conference marked the beginning of the transition process, of bring the necessary conditions under which we can begin district by district, a provident -- province by province, the transferring of responsib
to coincide with president karzai's outreach program. >> those taliban who are not part of terrorist networks, as i mentioned earlier, who are not part of al qaeda and other terrorist networks, or the sons of afghan soil and who are in thousands and thousands and thousands, they have to be reintegrated and they're welcome to be integrated. >> but the u.n. blacklist still contains the names of nearly 140 taliban commanders, some of whom are also on the american military's kill or capture list. past experience has shown that efforts to get them around the negotiating table have proved very dangerous for them. a major offensive against taliban strongholds is about to be launched in their sudden hea heartland in helmand by both u.s. and british troops. the coast of president obama's reinforcements is put at $1 million per soldier per year. that's $30 billion in the next 12 months. david chaiter, al jazeera, kabul. >>> as we turn to this week's "roundtable discussion," we're going to focus entirely on afghanistan this evening. at yesterday's london conference and beyond, there was renewed talk thi
the environment wi the afghaneople? homage kzai has been defending himself from the accusation. -- homage karzai. britain's prime minister swered questions from afghan d british studts and defended his deoyment of british troops. our world om paris our wod affairs correspondent was there. >>president karzai arrives londonnowing he has repair ork to do on hiswn reputation and that of his vernment. last year's afghan elections were widelyseen as flawed by widespread corruption. at the same time, mo troops than ever were being killeor injured in the war against the taliban. was it, one studt asked, worth e price being paid? british soiers have been fighting in afghanistan for nine years. practically ha my life. ha we en any cnge in the situation over ere? will we get better? or will my children ask me the same question? >> i tnk the first thing to say i we had to takection in 2001. after the al-qaeda bombing of new york, the knowledge tt al- qaeda were opering from afghanistan, the hp that was given them by the taliban govement. the question is how can we keep our streets safe and how good the res
this week. move in return for this additional commitment, we must agree with president karzai's plan for the expansion of the afghan army and police. we will agree today that the afghan national army will # 134,000 by october 2010. and more by 2011. we will commit to supporting a police report with afghan national police numbers preeti 9000 by october of this year. this is a present bigger than our coalition forces. we need more international trainers to do this. we are doubling the number of military teams for the afghan police starting in april of this afghan security forces will be 300,000. international forces will rise to 135,000. the balance will continue to ship toward afghan security control. as president obama made clear last month, by the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide in the fight against the insurgency and also in our work to support the afghan government. today we affirm that the increase in our military efforts must be matched with governance in economic development, a surge to match and complement the current military surge. we have agreed today to back
backed president karzai's peace plan, including the fund to pay taliban fighters to give up their weapons and be reintegrated into society. >> with the personal chemistry still clearly working, hillary clinton and david miliband speak to a conference that was intended to breathe new life into sorting out afghanistan. 70 plus representatives squzed into their seats. americans took a back seat. it was gordon brown who set out the objective. >> by the middle of next year we have to turn the tide in the fight against the insurgency and also in our work to support the afghan government in winning the trust of the people. >> how to do it, well, one important part of the strategy is to try to divide the taliban by offering them cash and jobs to leave. plenty of volunteers are just there because the taliban usually pay them well. >> reintegration is what afghan needs. we must reach out to all of our countrymen, especially our disenchanted follows. >> what he means is it using the 86 million pounds now on the table to pay the taliban not to fight western or afghan soldiers. how will the public her
hamid karzai told the conference that is country is moving slowly toward national security but that training security forces could take years. at an opening session this morning, the british and that an leaders and the un secretary general outlined their goals for the conference. . . >> in the last year britain has suffered hundreds of fatalities per he to the countries represented today recognizes that this mission is vital for our national security. it is vital to the stability of this crucial region and it is vital to the security of our world. we set out last autumn on strategies and we're making progress. the military search is turning to the tide against the taliban- led insurgency. it is at the same time building the capacity of the afghan forces who are fighting alongside us. a civilian surge is insuring that areas are cleared of the taliban and our stabilization teams go in to work with local to halt ground that has been a superdelegate. britain is proud that we lead the largest civilian reconstruction team in afghanistan. during 2009, we doubled the number of brit
government as well. guest: years ago when he met with hamid karzai at a dinner, someone said to him, mr. president, how are you going to address this problem of corruption? in fact, he said, what problem? joe biden, famously -- dinner was over -- he threw his napkin down and said, this dinner is over, and walked out. nothing has happened to defrost his relations with president karzai. both biden and richard holbrooke have terrible relations with karzai. host: james traub is with us to talk about the influence of joe biden. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. you can send us an e-mail or tweet us at. next phone call. caller: i think our president is doing very well. if we wanted joe biden as president, he would be president. i like the idea that our president is intelligent. he is not a puppet, like the last eight years. i think he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. host: james traub? guest: i guess i would agree, in general. he believes he could be a good president. i believe this is almost a desirable alternative. he is a very knowledg
this week. and karzai raised some eyebrows, it seems, by suggesting reconciliation with taliban leadership. this is by people on the ground, low-level folks, the u.s. working a way to work with those kind of taliban. but in terms of the leadership, does karzai have any international support for this concept? >> absolutely. i don't know, i mean, certainly as far as we're concerned, we weren't raising our eyebrows. that's what we were expecting to hear. because if you want to win against an insurgency, you've got to have strong military force, you've got to put pressure on the insurgents. but ultimately, this is going to be won by political means. you've got to divide the opposition and pull across as many people as possible. and that's going to happen bottom up with the low-level fighters and the middle level fighters and the tribal leaders. >> is that realistic, to think that taliban leaders want a political solution? i mean, do you make that distinguish -- i know the taliban does not equal al qaeda, but is it realistic? >> not for every single one. i think in any insurgency, in any confli
've just actually just straight from a meeting with president karzai of afghanistan who here in london for this conference. and i think it's important that the government of afghanistan does more to demonstrate that it's toughing out corruption. that it's embarking on property government and proper reform. but i think we should be clear, you know, we're not in afghanistan. to back up one particular government or one particular individual. and i don't think we're in afghanistan, frankly, to produce the perfect jeffersonian democracy. we're there because we do nt want ala and the taliban to have control of that country again. and we should have a pretty hard-headed view that what we are in this for is some basic level of stability and security so that country doesn't threaten our own security back at home any more. >> do you believe -- >> and in that case we did:bring our troops home. >> rose: do you believe that can be achieved in the next two years because the president said et cetera's going to begin to think about bringing american troops back after 18 months. >> my view is, obviousl
stated to be beginning about 18 months after to give karzai and his regime enough time to stand up and fight for itself. we will see. host: we have our numbers on the screen and we will get to the calls in immelman. -- in a moment. you laid out a number of issues which have to be practical issues that have to be dealt with, but the fact of the matter is that you bring vietnam and it becomes a political issue as well. tell us how you view this as a political issue. guest: the lesson that we need to learn, i think, from john kennedy's experience is this. he was with -- he was withdrawing at the time. we have the classified documents. but he did not tell the truth to the american people why? for political reasons. he wanted to get it reelected in 1964. he had begun to order the withdrawal in 1963. host: and these would have been the trainer said you talked about. guest: 16,000 of visors, not combat troops. but my point is that obama should not repeat that experience. he is clearly going to do the best that we can in a given amount of time, but what we face the prospect -- if we face t
karzai and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably with the trip that hillary clinton and i had made to afghanistan on october 18 and 19 in conjunction with the inauguration. the afghans understood this, they are very comfortable with it. so i need to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it@@@@@@p it's a common problem i've seen in every war i've been involved in. let's not confuse the number of cell phones with low the war is going. let's not minimize that cell phone penetration is a hugely important
ghanistan saf and r own country sar. >> rose: d president karzai s anything toou that assured you of whatever misgivingsou might have about corruption and the dependence ofis governmen on foreignelp. >> well, i have rsed-- i've been leader of the opposition for four years. i'veeen to afanistan every year. i've matt president karzai on pretty much every occasion. i thinit was the sixth time iave met him this morning. what say is ihave always raised the issue of corruption. and the assurances e alwa given. but we nd to do more, there is nooubt there is still a level corruptn. it is to the just in the ghan government, but in me of the provinces as well you know, i think we can have an overromant sized view about the sorof country afghanian is. it is a desperatelyoor cotry in a very backwards stage of develment. and we have to have realistic assessmes of what we can achieve. >> rose: and i in fact, the liban gain control of afghanistan it will prode a haven for al qaeda which is unceptable. >> of course. i mes that's why 're there. it's becausehat when the liban were runnin afghanist
on afghanistan, the london conference will be attended by president karzai the u.n. secretary general vana and 60 nations will be represented. we will be announcing new figures for nato forces and for afghan forces in the time to come. and we will be focusing on how the political and civilian surge that we plan in afghanistan can match and complement the military service that is taking place. on wednesday, the day before the first international meeting will be held to agree how we can strengthen support for yemen in its efforts against al qaeda and how we can help the government of yemen with the development and governance. as i said last week in a common statement i made on security, we know that there are terrorist groups with plans to hinchliffe damage on our country and we are always on alert. we will be vigilant against those who seek to destroy and undermine our democracy and our way of life. let me add one thing also at this morning. i sent my condolences to president harari and prime minister mellis after the crash of the ethiopian airways flight on the coast of lebanon and we are working
-day afghan conference. what you met with president karzai in london. and you know that obviously britain has the second biggest fighting force there after the united states. what do you think about for instance, president obama's surge and then the idea of starting a withdrawal some 18 months later. >> well, let's start with the surge. i think we finally in afghanistan, we've got the right strategy. it's a strategy that recognizes that we were short of troops and boots on the ground and that needed to be increased and i would pay tribute to what the american people are doing in terms of putting those extra troops, particularly into the sides of the country where the british have done good work, but quite badly overstretched. that's making a huge difference. but alongside the military commitment, what's been necessary is more coordination of the civilian effort, of aid, and of political strategy so there's a prospect of this country running itself, providing its own security. and i think what we see now is those elements coming together. that is very good news. and i think we all now need to
nominees for president karzai's cabinet. one of them was the only female nominee. what does this say about the is stability of afghanistan? >> reporter: it could say two things right now. it could say one, that the afghan government were not obviously happy with president karzai's choices. many parliamentarians have said he basically chose people who helped him during the campaign that he made promises to so he could get the presidency again. another way of looking at this, it's democracy in action. here you have the parliament who are turning down president karzai's choices. we should mention two weeks earlier when i asked the president at a press conference why he didn't have more female choices, he had only had one in his list, he conceded that he knew the parliament would reject a lot of his choices and he told me he expects to have more and more females within this cabinet and women throughout the government. >> brooke. >> an tillal, thank you. >>> we will take an inside look at what is being called the world's newest, tallest building. first though, our random moment in 90 seconds. >
.s.ilitary. particularlyhen they've been rking together so well recently. >>ose: do you have great confiden in the karzai governmentthat they will be a rtner this snefrt i think we cannot look only toll the national governmenof afghanistan. this is a young govement. they've got ep sysmic flaws they are rdened wh corruption but it is a stggling decracy. but we need to look beyond that at a village level. is is all about polics and as the late tip o'nei said, all politicss local. it's rtainly case in counterterrorism, unterinsurgency. d i think that's the way we must approach it. it's notust capitalto capit nation to naon. th is a fight aboutthe people and forhe people. >> rose: turn your attentn to al qaeda and how they see the world. and where do they get thei momentum and where do they get their strength and where do they get their opportunity. there are many theories and my ess-- and that's all i is s that it may well be about glalization and the growthf free market societies,he owth of liberal institution around the world. and if you lookt in in those terms, we'v made remarkab progre. the u.s. and our
in the karzai government th they will be a partr this snefrt i think we caot look only toll the national government of afghanistan. this is a young governme. they've got deep systemilaws they are burded with couption but it is a struggng democry. but we need to look beyond that at a village level thiss all about politic and as the late tip o'neill sd, all politics is local. it's certnly case in counterterrorism, counrinsurgency. and think that's e way we must approach it. it's not jus capital to capital nation to nation this ia fight about th people and for the people. >> rose:urn your attention to al qaeda and how they see t wod. d where do they get thr momentum and where do they get their strength a where do they get their opportunity. >> there are many theories and myguess-- and that's allt sds that it m well be about obalization and the growth of free market societies, the growth of liberal institutis around the world. and if you look at in in those terms, wee made remarkle progss. the u.s. and our aies, we've won the cold war and i think thathe change that'soming to the ddle east, c
year i' been to ghanistan every year. i've matt president karzai on pretty muc every occasion. i thk it was the sixth time have met him this morning. wh i say is i have always raised the issue o corruption. and the assuranceare alys given. but weeed to do more, there is no doubt there is still a leveof corruion. it is to the just i the afghan government, but in some of the provinces as well. you know, i think we can have a overromant sized view about the st of country afghastan is. it is a desperately poor untry in a very backwars stage of devopment. and we have to have realistic assessnts of what we can achieve. >> rose: andf, in fact, thtaliban gain control of afghanistan it will pvide a haven for al qaeda which is acceptable. >> of course i ans that's whywe're there. it's becau that when the taliban were runng afghanista the terroris training camps werthere. if y lookt the cvs of thbombers on 9/11, you know, almost every singl one of tm had been through afghan terrorist training camp. and this isin the british national interest, as well as in the u. national interest my we was ne
, we have bad memories of the taliban. while embattled president hamid karzai is ridi his post election wave of hope. polling in afghanistan is daunting and dangerous. abc news and our partners here sent 168 pollsters out all across the country door-to-door taking the pulse of more than 1,500 people. asking them about ordinary life here. for instance, that covering for women, the burqa, should it be the husband's decision or hers? in this untry, a split decision. women say they should decide. the majority of men say it's the husband's choice. this woman added perspective. "my husband's not the problem," she says. "it's the taliban i'm afraid of." and sometimes small signs of progress. 60% of our polls say they have cell phones. every single one of you? but 85% of them say they have no refrigerator, and in this poor country, few have hope of such a thing. and one more sobering number. more than half of afghans say they have never been to school. >> you can see more of diane's reporting from afghanistan on a special edition of "world news." >>> there's unexpected fallout from senate major
was -- >> the karzai government -- >> i think again this is one that is also better directed to the state department i think it is probably a sign of some progress house odd as that may sound that there is a healthy give-and-take between the branches of government and in a space afghanistan where the parliament, the legislature is saying we are not going to necessarily rubber-stamp the president's cabinet choices. we have checks and balances here, the congress has to confirm every cabinet selection here and a similar thing is going on there. with that said we have a process as quickly as possible because the government in afghanistan is something that needs to improve quickly and the longer there is limbo the more difficult that becomes. yes, go ahead. >> [inaudible] -- about to happen in yemen and the u.s. but already some of the top leaders pushed back of the exact level of taking from the u.s. and and and -- does that told the u.s. caused with operations to help identify [inaudible] >> i haven't seen the comments which you refer. i've seen other comments from the many military or civilian leaders t
for hamid karzai says the leader is surprised by the rejection of most of his cabinet choices. he will submit new choices for the cabinet but is not clear when that will happen. the rejection will delay efforts to establish a functioning government. >>> president obama ordered 30,000 additional troops into afghanistan this year. will that provide the stability the country needs or trigger an increase in violence? conor powell in kabul with the latest from afghanistan. good to see you, corner. >>> well, shannon, talking to analysts first on the military and on the civilian side there seems to be a broad consensus that the violence will continue to get worse in 2010. that there will be more bloodshed and simply more deaths but 2009 was a record year and there is this fear that this will be a much worse year. general mcchris tollway said before things get better here on the found in afghanistan things will get worse but phrased that as part of the process of improving and stablizing afghanistan. there are more american and international troops and more afghan troops on the way and be
for reforming washington. >> is there a way that can be accomplished? >> president karzai is heading to london this week and he wants some taliban taken off the u.s. sanctions welist in exchange for their laying down their arms. >> you have heard that general petraeus discussed similar type efforts in afghanistan, political reconciliations. you have per general mcchrystal discussed the same thing. obviously, that is a similar path to what happened in iraq. each of those two individuals have talked through this. this is provided that whoever this is accept the event constitution, renounces violence, and publicly breaks through the groups that advocate violence. that is what people expect under the notion of reconciliation. >> last week, the win put out a report saying that the amount of graft and kickbacks in of denniston is about $2.3 billion per year which is 25% of their gross domestic product. who in the administration is really writing point on dealing with issues of corruption in afghanistan? >> a group of people working and our afghan policy -- let me figure out where some of that inform
karzai is speaking now, as we can see, shortly following the speech by gordon brown. gordon brown has spoken. we are there, cnbc has sent anna edwards down. we'll be bringing you more updates on that throughout the day here on the channel. do stay with us for more on that, too. let's get back to the equity markets, though. a bit of a roundup on what's going on around the globe. starting out here in the uk, the ftse 100 is higher by 0.9%. pretty steady at these levels. lots of stocks gaining today, obviously, after some fairly steep declines, to be honest. i was just checking. if you look back to the highs of the year so far, that fell on january the 11th. since then, the ftse 100 has fallen some 5.8%. it has been a tough time for the ftse, maybe some bargain hunting, if you like. a couple of sectors are dominating the gainers. banks, barclay's issuing higher along with lloyd's. xstrata, eurasian and kazakhmy's falls in that group, as well. let's go out to germany with patricia. >> finally, we have a positive day out here. and it's the tech stocks as well as the banking stocks doing ve
counts of first degree murder. afghanistan's parliament is rejecting 17 of president hamid karzai's 24 cabinet nominees and says that he has to make new selections. the head of the u.n. mission in afghanistan is calling the ruling a setback that will delay efforts to get a functioning government up and running. officials say karzai will now have to spend political energy nominating new choices when the country should be focused on needed reform. >> didn't take them because they're corrupt. >> really. >> this is' heavy snow falling in salem, massachusetts and some strong winds, let's get a check on all of this from rick reichmuth in the weather center. >> the northeast has been pummelled with more wind and snow and that area of low pressure, the downer clock-wise circulation has gotten so wound up. warm air across the north side of that. bangor maine, 36 degrees. burlington vermont, 10 degrees. cold air across the eastern two-thirds of the country. if you want warm temps go far out towards the west and the satellite radar picture for us is going to be continuing to show a little bit of
process when you take a look at the election in afghanistan, hamid karzai, which to a lot of people look like a joke and ahmadinejad's election as well, that there's going to be some real changes that people are going to be looking for. >> again, i go back to my biggest winner, hillary clinton, here, because, you know, if the world changes in iran, in a way we might like, this is also something she can use, particularly as a woman, because women have been so vocal against ahmadinejad in iran, i think this is the way that hillary clinton can flex her muscle. >> all right. happy new year to all of you. thank you very much. hope we'll all be winners this year. >> yes. >> all right. thanks again. >> thanks. >>> our cnn's jeanne moos has made us think and laugh with a year full of the most unusual reports. well, we've chosen our favorite. wait until you see what it is. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? host: did the waltons take way too long to say goodnight? mom: g'night john boy. g'night mary ellen. mary ellen: g'night mama. g'night erin. elizabeth
karzai's presence because he was so disgusted by the corruption there. and gere toi and we're going to build an army out of that? >> and we have an extensively western base allied to us. but we all know, this is a tribal-based country. the british came and went. the russians came and went. to me, it's just a mystery what we're trying to really do. >> elisabeth bumiller, thank you very much. a great article. >> thanks. thanks. >> it's a frustrating situation and a frustrating country. >> it is. and also, we deal with our own security and how we shore that up. because even all these years later, we find ourselves almost as at risk after 9/11. >> i want someone to commission a poll on body studies. i bet you have 95% of the americans saying, go ahead, we don't care. >>> coming up next, "all things at once," it is not a book so much as it is a way of life. we're going to preview mika's book. it's going to change not only your life, but i would guess america. we'll be right back. ( whistling ) ( sniffing ) missing something? now at sears optical, get 2 pairs of glasses for $99.99. or tak
will keep a focus on this -- >> i hope you're speaking for yourself. >> you did a great job with karzai and i'll say that again. [laughter] >> the fact is that this is an opportunity for us, i think, to continue to put pressure -- to make sure that more draconian steps are taken instead of willy-nilly kind of things that yielded the same kinds of results and i thank you for your testimony. >> i couldn't agree with you, senator. we'll come to that point after senator shaheen. but i don't agree with you at all. i think this is a moment and i think it's going to take the tough hand of leadership. senator shaheen? >> i notice the bell hadn't gone off but we're not drifting around here. we can have a second round. >> i prefer to think of it as an opportunity to finish my questions. i want to thank each one of you for being here and for your insights into this horrific human tragedy. i share my colleagues gratification and the outpouring from not only the united states but from the rest of the world to try and respond to this tragedy. and i guess my first question before i ask more about the
terrorist threat. our conference on afghanistan, the london conference, will be attended by president karzai, the u.n. secretary-general, 60 nations will be represented. we will be announcing new figures for nato forces and for afghan forces in the time to come. we will be focusing on how the political and civilian surge we plan in afghanistan can match and complement the military surge that is taking place. on wednesday, the day before, the first international meeting will be held to agree how we can strengthen support for yemen in its efforts against al qaeda and how we can help the government of yemen with development and governance. as i said last week in the commons statement i made on security, we note that there are terrorist groups with plans to inflict damage on our country and we are always on alert. we will be vigilant against those who seek to destroy and undermine our democracy and our way of life. let me add one thing also this morning. i sent my condolences to president hariri and the prime minister after the crash of the ethiopian airways flight off the coast of lebanon. we a
probably take two or three years. and then president karzai really threw cold water on things when he said that afghanistan would not be able to provide for its own security for 15 to 20 years let alone 18 months. so the question is this, when july, 2011 rolls around, will we be at the beginning of the troop withdrawal or just in the middle of it? will we be standing on the cliff or going down the ramp? and will we be at the inflection or point of no return in an open-ended war. the american people and our troops deserve a solid plan. we have the right to know exactly what we're getting into before we start spending billions of dollars more and more and more of our troops' blood. that's why congress must ask the administration some tough questions and demand better answers. you know that's our responsibility, that's our job. especially before we authorize another dime for this foreign occupation. we must make sure that the next appropriation has a much better balance between military and civilian need, a balance that will be considerbly better than the last appropriation. we must make sure
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